Worst of the 80s
Editor-in-Chief, High Bias
I spent some time going through a bunch of music from the 80s (CDs, tapes and such) and I wondered about what I considered to be the worst tracks of the decade. The 80s spawned some pretty bad stuff but it was hard to pick a song that really turned my stomach. It's easy to come up with stuff in a genre you can't stand (anything by Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, Michael Jackson's 80s output). It would also be too easy to go after Toto, Air Supply or REO Speedwagon, as tempting as it is. The trick is to come up with songs that really bother you because you either liked the genre or the artist per se.
[I would also add that it would be little sport to assault Huey Lewis, Eddie Money, Richard Marx, Samantha Fox, Loverboy, Bad English, hair metal bands or teenyboppers like Tiffany, since I think we can all agree on the relative lack of merit of their entire catalogs. Too easy, as you say. --MT]
Worst of the 80s according to Michael Toland, Editor-in-Chief, High Bias
"Addicted to Love" - Robert Palmer
Palmer has his moments (I treasure the supremely silly and catchy "Bad Case of Loving You") but this song is such shit. It's badly sung, played at a glacial tempo and just plain brainless. How the hell this ever became a hit is beyond me.
"The Tide is High" - Blondie
White people shouldn't play reggae. Period. A ton of people loves this song, but I find it excruciating.
"Walk Like an Egyptian" - the Bangles
I love the Bangles, but this is just embarrassing. Were they that desperate for a hit?
"Angel" - Aerosmith
I find it very sad when a band like Aerosmith, whatever you may think of them, had to stoop to the level of the hordes of hair metal bands who spent the 80s ripping them off. This is a ballad so odious in its bombast and perfect in its banality it should have resulted in the word "angel" being banned from song lyrics forever more. Too bad, since the album it comes from ain't bad otherwise. Docked even more points for the fact that Aerosmith recycles it under different titles every time they need a hit.
"Dancin' in the Ruins" - Blue Öyster Cult
When you have to hire outside songwriters to pen you a would-be hit that (self-) consciously attempts to evoke your classic era, it's time to give it up.
"Dancing in the Streets" - David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Admittedly, neither Bowie nor Jagger was at his best in the 80s (in fact, I'd argue Jagger's never recovered from this particular slump). But still you'd think they could do a better job on a classic from the soul era that they both profess to love. But this is just gruesome.
"Fight For Your Right (to Party)" - Beastie Boys
Words cannot express how much I loathe this song and the self-righteously "hip" group from which it belched. Yes, I know it's all a big joke and yes, I know they've gone on to the proverbial bigger and better things, and yes, I know they were supposedly pulling a fast one on the very audience this song attracts. But I defy you to find anyone who really believes that who didn't read it in a record review somewhere. To paraphrase someone whose name I can't remember (I think it came from a comic book, actually), "Even when they're not trying to be funny, they're not funny."
"Rock Me Amadeus" - Falco
This has got to be the stupidist, dumbest, most ridiculous, most inconceivably boneheaded song ever. Every second it spends on the air begs the question "What in the FUCKING HELL WERE THEY THINKING????" The arrangement is a mess. Falco is hopeless as a vocalist. The song itself could've been written by a three-year-old with a cheap Casio. The whole thing is baffling. That said, I think it's a hoot for those very reasons. Nobody makes records like this anymore (at least that anybody ever hears)it's dreadfully incompetent yet somehow inspired. It's the Plan 9 from Outer Space of pop songs.